The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has so far completed 742 infrastructural projects spread across the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State. The projects include regional roads, hospitals, bridges, electricity, shoreline protection, reclamation and school hostels.
Speaking at the NDDC state office in Port Harcourt, the Representative of Rivers State on the board of the NDDC, Hon Harry Dabibi, explained that the Commission has so far awarded 1,688 projects and was currently working on 536 projects, 140 of which are big ticket projects. He added that 742 had been completed and 134 of the projects had been commissioned while 34 were ready for commissioning.
Hon Dabibi charged all NDDC contractors to fulfil their obligations to the commission by working expeditiously to deliver the various projects on schedule and in accordance with specified standards. He warned; “Contractors that are not on site or fail to keep to specifications will have themselves to blame because the NDDC will not hesitate to take appropriate measures to bring them to book.”
Dabibi spoke about some of the projects which he said were progressing satisfactorily, especially those classified as big ticket projects. In this category, he commended the level of work at the 4.72-Km Kaa-Ataba Road and bridge project in Khana Local Government Area, He, however, stated that NDDC expected the contractor to put in more efforts to quicken the pace of work.
He noted that some of the problems that had previously slowed down the pace of work on NDDC projects had been addressed, adding that “the process of payment has been streamlined and fine-tuned such that contractors are now paid as soon as they present their Interim Payment Certificates [IPC].”
He charged contractors working for the NDDC to buckle up as “the Commission will not entertain excuses for non-performance. Our contractors must prioritize the prompt and early completion of projects. Where there are challenges, we should know immediately.”
The Rivers State NDDC representative said he was happy with the quality of work on some important projects like the Abalama internal roads in Asari Toru Local Government Area. He described the completed projects as not only commendable but a testimony to the commitment of some local contractors to the objective of delivering quality projects to the people.
Asked about the status of the 3.65-kilometre Okrika-Borokiri Road with three bridges connecting Kolabi, Abotoru and Okpoka creeks to Port Harcourt, Dabibi regretted that work on the project had slowed down, stating that the Commission was making efforts to quicken the pace of work at the site.
He said he was excited by the progress at the Niger Delta Regional Specialist Hospital in Port Harcourt. According to him, the hospital project, comprising Orthopaedic and Cardiovascular units, was being replicated in Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta states.
He said that when completed, the Orthopaedic hospital would deal with the correction of injuries to the skeletal system, associated muscles, joints and ligaments while the cardiovascular unit would treat heart problems.
Dabibi equally praised the contractors working for the Commission at the Nigerian Police barracks being built for the Special Protection Unit, base 6 at Omagwa in the outskirts of Port Harcourt. He noted that the complex included an administrative building and six blocks of residential quarters.